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Showing posts from 2008

Year-End Survey

Because I don't always post surveys at Blogger, and because I haven't worked on a survey in a long time, I present to you kids the 2008 survey (courtesy of Oryza the Genius)! Everybody's supposed to have an obligatory year-end post(s), and since I haven't posted anything the past few, let this be the start of (hopefully) a series.1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
>> Put up with people patiently. :D
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
>> I've never done resolutions before. Mebbe it's time I did. Huh.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
>> I am not that sure. My sister might have. 4. Did anyone close to you die?
>> Nobody that I know of.5. What countries did you visit?
>> That depends. In my imagination, I roam around a lot. In real life, I am a desk jockey.6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
>> Gee that's a lot. More money?

Diary

Of all the cool gifts I got this year, this was undoubtedly the coolest:My copy probably has a different serial number and far, far less Japanese characters in the background.The Murakami Diary for 2009, which came from my dear eldest sister, who got it for ₤9.99 according to the receipt I found in the book, much to her chagrin. So here I am, with a diary whose theme involves one of the few giants in contemporary literature. This is a good thing, this, because in my opinion, I lack practice and skill in writing short and meaningful paragraphs. This diary has a small slot for each day of the year 2009.Every time somebody gives me a notebook or a diary, it ends up gathering dust in one corner until I finish the current notebook I have with me and find the need to continue writing on a new leaf, so to speak. Add the fact that most of my writing is done via the computer these days, which explains the dearth of decent hand-written works from myself for around three years and counting. A pa…

Merry Christmas!

It's the 24th and I haven't even done my shopping or most of my work for that matter. I have also not for the past two weeks, done any serious workout. I expect to greet 2009 a little bit flabbier than I was last year. But hell. It's the holidays, and despite any misgivings, we all need to get together and enjoy the fact that at least once every year, everybody's given the excuse to shovel fattening pieces of ham and edam cheese down their gullets and guzzle some good alcohol. So what the hey. Merry Christmas, folks, and may it be a truly good one for all of you - especially those of you who really need it.As my gift to all of you readers, here's a nice animated short I picked up from wandering around the 'net the entire night. It isn't Pixar in terms of story quality and pacing, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for by being very, very cheeky. I know at least of one person who will truly enjoy this. You know who you are. Merry, merry Christ…

(Another) Holiday Post

It's Christmas.The weather's slowly turned chilly; you see more and more people out with their jackets, and there's a crispness in the air, like the slow, silent crumbling of Graham crackers, or the slow popping of popcorn in the microwave. But you can't hear it.Out there, in the street, there's gaiety and fanfare, without really being fanfare because fanfare is always planned. The kid carolers, knocking on your door and throwing rocks when you act the scrooge. Bright lights, big city lights, all throughout the avenues, and you know that just down the street from the church you can pick up a steaming bibingka or puto bumbong with niyog and luscious butter. In the pulpit, the priests are getting ready, celebrating the reason for the season and telling us that the son of God is at hand. On the other hand, stores have advertisements and hawkers telling everybody that Christmas means a variety of sales from both retail and wholesale just so you can make your loved ones…

Crooners And Caroling

I love crooners. Seriously, who wouldn't like the way crooners, well, croon? I've been in a very crooner-ish mood lately, thanks to someone very dear. So since I can't find a version of this song performed by Sinatra (the king of crooners), go go Buble:

Everybody's making Christmas wish lists. So far, two people have been asking me about what I'd like for the season, and I've always given the same answer. Nothing. Because I don't make lists for Christmas. Give whatever or give nothing, it doesn't matter. The thought that counts and all that. Bah humbug, I have a cold. In the spirit of my very un-Christmaslike mood, though, let me make a list of the things that I do not want to get for Christmas: shirts - Last year being the exception, I totally detest getting shirts for Christmas. Or birthdays. This is like the most basic staple of gift-giving, and it gets annoying, mostly because people usually don't know what style of shirt you like. Or, since I&#…

Beeeer (Among other Alcoholic Beverages)

I don't really remember when I started drinking alcohol. It was either during one family reunion way back when I was still a kid, or during a night out with the family where they made me taste wine. I remember disliking the bitterness of beer, but like coffee, it was something you eventually get used to.I was introduced to hard drinks back in high school thanks to a friend who decided to drag me to his neighborhood buddy's weekend drinking session. This was also my first (I think) Starbucks experience.This kid, though, has a pretty good head start. I've reached an age, though, where I'm beginning to feel the effects of the drink on my body. Blame my year in Mindanao where I was straddled with pansies who adamantly refused to indulge in hard liquor (I love those guys with all my heart, but hell). Blame the weight I lost (hopefully, weight that I will keep lost). Or blame the theoretical deteriorating state of my liver, which I try to lighten by imbibing gratuitous amoun…

You've All Seen It

I'm talking about this face, gringos. Manny gave the Golden Boy such a beating that it'd take a week for all those bruises for him to heal back to his usual good-lookin' countenance. The good, the bad, the ugly? Manny's all three - a good boxer, a bad-ass fighter, and an ugly mug.Bad Left Hook gives a really good eulogy to De la Hoya's boxing career in this post. I never got to see the fight, but I saw the HBO specials on their training (Freddie Roach looks like he's slowly losing it out of the ring), and I saw the news reports. Pacman was Yoda, De la Hoya was Count Dooku. No contest, literally.I like that bit where SC points out that the entire time, De la Hoya knew what he had to do - he was a really good boxer, after all - but they all just kept on coming to him way too late in the game. That's always a scary thought, man. I mean, how much do you think you can take from life when all the good ideas, all the winning combinations, keep on hitting you way a…

And After Another Sleepless Night

I can honestly say that I never ever should have read through the entire Watchmen series because it has furthered my understanding that I might never fully enjoy the upcoming eponymous movie the way it was meant to be enjoyed (and if we're to take 300 as a template, that would be tantamount to something like no brains + more testosterone please).Here's a nice interview with Dave Gibbons, the man who drew Watchmen, and his reactions to the upcoming film. I have to say, it's pretty heartening to hear him talk about it so enthusiastically, although there's the possibility that with Alan Moore ditching rights to the franchise as far as the film is concerned, Gibbons will be getting a bigger piece of the pie. However, there's this really nice (and admittedly old) video of Alan Moore and his take on why his comics (or most good comics, in general) can't be turned into movies. Check his blood-curdling reading of one of Rorschach's journal entries in the middle: I …

What the Hell, Bro

I was doing a little bit of research in PhilMusic and the Yupangco forums when I came upon a really interesting thread in the former discussing why the general rock n' roll community had this tendency to look down upon the musical genre / niche emo. I know shoegaze is fast becoming the trend in the pop music scene (and along with emo, I have a pretty strong dislike for it), but the fact remains that emo was bashed by not one, not five, but almost all of the resident rock cultures from dreampop (the precursor of shoegaze, bitchez) to prog metal, so this was a rather intriguing topic. After all, emo is still a form of music, and PhilMusic is the melting pot of Pinoy music on the 'net. But the one thing that not even that admittedly educated discussion thread could do for me was establish the roots of emo and emocore, so I did the next best thing and checked Wikipedia. Near the bottom part of the entry on emo, there was this short paragraph that caught my attention:Gerard Way, th…

Mind Fart

When I think, I write. When I write, I am forced to think.It's a rather vicious cycle.I just finished re-reading Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and despite having read a plentitude of the man's works, I still have to say that this is his pinnacle.  The plight(s) of two nameless protagonists whose stories converge as the novel draws to a close is both heartwarming and, at the same time, heartbreaking, and works like a strong depressant injected straight to the jugular. I have this habit of sitting down and staring into space after reading a particularly thought-provoking book, and twice now has Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World affected me in this manner. But the one thing I love most about it is that it accepts death in the most dramatic of ways, with a cigarette inside a Toyota Carina, with Bob Dylan in the background and a slow and smooth slide to eternal slumber. Sweet and tasteful, but without all the drama.Don't ge…

Drive

Don't you just hate it when you sit down in front of your desk, open a word document And nothing happens?Seriously. Back a couple of years ago, you can whip up a decent (if emo) post in a few minutes, hit the post button, and go back to sleep. You even finished a short story - the first story you ever published - overnight. Some folks even say that that was your best story. Of course, back then, you were in college, didn't have to work, a rampant alcoholic, and best of all, you actually read all them long books (most of which weren't even entertaining). Argh.So anyway, lately there's been a large decline in my drive to put two decent sentences together. I sometimes think that this is because I lack the endorphins necessary to think clearly enough without falling asleep after several minutes of staring into space. Other times, I think I just lack more alcohol in my system, and open the bottle that's always beside my table and knock back two hefty shots of neat brand…

Who Moved My Cheese?

This morning, I groggily woke up at around four-ish to five thirty in the morning to start getting ready to go to work. I step into the can, take the requisite morning dump, and reach out to fill the big-ass bucket in my bathroom with water. Upon closing the faucet a few minutes later, I discover that the faucet head didn't screw shut like it usually should. It slowly eased into the closed position, instead of the usual screw-and-lock feel that I'd gotten used to. Upon closer inspection, I discover that this was only one of three minor changes in the bathroom. The shower knob had been replaced with a wonkier (albeit more functional) grip, and the hose that led from the water closet of the toilet to the pipe had been repaired. For reasons inexplicable to me, my stress level hit the roof at around five-thirty in the morning.I never pictured myself as a person who'd react this violently to change, given my Zen outlook on life, the universe and everything. There's also the…

I Don't Get It (aka Ex # X)

I don't blog enough. Why do I even keep this blog up anyway?Sit down. Feel your ass settle into the chair. Close your eyes and think of the last single most relaxing thing you did. Like eat your favorite chocolate. Or talk to your favorite person on the phone.Mmm. Feels good, doesn't it?Feels as if the past few days were a blur. You're slowing down though, like a horse fresh from the races, catching it's breath after a tenuous run. Through your closed lids, you imagine yourself looking down at your forelegs and seeing the veins bulging through your hide after all that effort. There is steam rising from your flanks, your body is so heated after the run that you're emanating an aura of sorts. You grin, and shake your head. In real life, you shake your head as well.It's been a good four days. Nobody will ever find the body, you think. After all the running and the effort, the pains you took to hide Elsa's corpse after you accidentally stabbed her during that l…

Alex Ross Kicks So Much Ass

Instead of explaining with words as to why this man is amazing, I will instead show you a photo.Photo courtesy of Robot Walrus. All rights belong to Alex Ross.

People and their Beliefs

It's good to have something to believe in. Really. It's always good to work for a cause, to fight the good fight so that a select group of the population have an easier time of it. I mean this in all honesty. Marxists supposedly work for the equality of the social system, feminists fight for the equal treatment of the genders, environmentalists tout the rejuvenation of mother nature for the continual benefit of future generations of the human race. We're all fighting and believing in something, and one way or the other, everybody's got a point. Which is what brings me to mine: the -ism I adhere to is the one belief that will sit on the sidelines and chuck bombs when everybody else has gone to hell and back trying to shove each other's ideals down the next guy's throat. My personal -ism takes enjoyment in seeing the gestalt of a situation and making fun of it by pointing out the pros and cons of either side. Most importantly, my -ism believes in a sense of balan…

Inhalation

Two nose-related stories. So without further ado. . .Lately, I've been having nosebleeds left and - well, mostly left. It started during my week-long battle with a flu that kept me in bed the whole of last week. I was woken up from an afternoon nap by a clogged left nostril, so I picked up the rag I was using for a handkerchief and blew my nose. Imagine my surprise when I saw gobs of blood on the rag. I wasn't really shocked since I was used to my nose bleeding at the oddest of times, so I just plugged the hole with TP and went back to bed.The past few days, though, the same nostril's been doling out the blood like a faucet. Just yesterday, I ended up wasting a brand-new handkerchief because I was gushing as if there was no tomorrow. A friend actually told me off when I was telling her about my plans to gym later in the evening, since I did just come from a sickness. This morning, though, after another episode of gooey geyser, I used the office bathroom's mirror to pee…

The Tale of Tetebaluchi

Gather 'round, kiddies, and let me tell you a horrifying tale. This little ditty ain't no sham - it tells the truth (upon my honor) about the mad-dog menace of the stick they called . . . TETEBALUCHI.Now, as things started out, he was just a tree mindin' his own business down south of the country. But then one day, the choppers came, and saw no finer wood for profit than Tetebaluchi himself. He protested, oh yes with all his tree-given gifts, but the axes were sharp, the men's arms strong as an ox during the matin' season. Tetebaluchi fell, amidst a furuious cascade of profanities that would make your sailor brother's mother's uncle pink with embarrassment. Oh yes, boys and girls, Tetebaluchi fell, and he shattered the earth beneath him with a thunderous CRACK!Now, the thing about them trees is that you can cut them down, but you can't ever kill them, no sir. When you cut them down, you hurt them and take away a little bit more of their life, but wood o…

Post-Hiatus Vignette #1

He really needed to get back to his fiction. After checking out an artist's blog for inspiration, he felt it. It started small, a creative rush dripping throughout his body. It didn't feel like writing on the adrenaline-induced equivalent of crack or staring into the eyes of God, no.This was something different. It was like coffee, or Super Mario Brothers. This was what one would feel after downing a mugful of rich, luxurious espresso shots. This, he reasoned, was probably how Super Mario felt like after eating a mushroom - bigger somehow, and more secure that while he wasn't really larger than life, there was this voodoo majik that gave him the endurance he needed to storm the castle and save the princess. Super Mario and espresso. Some reach, he thought after a second. Holy shit, that was a false start. He stood up and closed the computer, headed for the bathroom to take a shit. Afterwards, there was dinner to look forward to. So much for day one.

Where in the World Did the Time Go?

Wow. I promised to fix up this blog a long time ago, but even after all that, I only get around to doing it now. And I go and choose a default layout, to boot. What a jerk.So anyway. Hi.

The problem with coming back from a blog hiatus of sorts is that you've had plenty of opportunities to write decent blog entries but you end up saving them for the future when you get to bringing your website back to life. I'm no stranger to that, I'll admit - so many things have happened these past few months that made me stop and thing that "Hey, there's something nice to blog about!" only to be followed by the thought that "Oh shat, I haven't cleaned up my blog yet."It can get very frustrating. Especially when the only bit of writing you do get to doing involves work.Which, by the way, is doing great. I've never been busier - dealing with the constant demands of the clients for better, cleaner output can be both frustrating and rewarding, despite the hideo…

Revamp?

Okay. I promised to fix this blog's layout waaaaay back, but I still haven't gotten around to achieving even a remotely noticeable improvement. I still plan on getting that done - inasmuch as I myself am starting to find everything about this batshit layout absurd - but until then, I will entertain by providing an image not that far removed from the subject, or object, of this post:The Dance of Meat by Aaron K. Fucked up sideways, innit?Oh, in case I didn't warn you kiddies, this post was highly liable to be R-18. Yes, I am an asshole.I have to admit that the Google AdSense banner's color has inspired some ideas within this otherwise graphically inept troglodyte. I do plan on getting rid of those ungainly ads, since I don't think anybody would really want to learn more about tinnitus and cerumen after an elucidating visit to my humble piece of the Internet.Oh, for those reading this via Multiply, this does not apply to you. Only the Blogspot readers can fully appre…

More On Superheroes

I've been mentioning left and right that The Dark Knight (once again, I say, if you haven't seen it, you must, for great justice) was a harbinger, the proverbial catalyst for the evolution of superhero film adaptations. And the fun thing is, a lot of critics from Rotten Tomatoes seem to be in agreement: the genre is going to be so shaken up after this that we literally don't know what to expect next.This article, though, sheds light on a different angle: The Dark Knight could be the meteor that killed off all the superhero movie dinosaurs. Well-written and highly intelligent, this piece pokes around in nearly a decade that saw films festooned with tight-wearing crusaders with a taste for vigilante justice. And while I'd like to be optimistic about how things look for the geek culture ever since Iron Man and The Dark Knight aired, I can't help but grudgingly agree to A. Scott's article: the strains of repeated platitudes and ideals, a lacking sense of finality, …

Meme And Other Things

I was tagged by Lauren. Please don't kill me.The rules are simple. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
1. What was I doing 10 years ago? (July 1998)
I was in 2nd year high school. My professor was Indri Sybunsuan, I think. This was also the year I weakened my knee. And the year the high school gang of ten were finally formed.2. What are the 5 things on my to-do list today?
No to-do list, really, but today I've:
a. Gone to mass.
b. Seen the Avatar finale.
c. Discussed The Dark Knight with Inigo and Cholo.
d. Spoken with Lauren.
e. Emailed several people regarding my lost mobile phone.3. Snacks I enjoy: Cagayan de Oro cheese bread, pan-de-sal, turon, HK Style Noodles, peanut butter sandwiches.4. Places where I lived: Mania, Cagayan De Oro.5. Things I’d do if I were a b…

I Am Speechless

This review cleverly summarizes everything there is to look forward to when you watch The Dark Knight. So go, read it. Because I've seen the movie twice, and I don't think I can even illustrate, however remotely, just how AWESOME this film is. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. If you have, watch it again - I know I would.

Odd Things You Notice

I tend to notice when I build up ear wax. My ears, the insides, start to itch something awful, like they were begging me to scratch them or something. And I do. I start scratching around the circumference of the earhole, and when that doesn't cut it, why I drive a finger in and give it a good wriggling. Yes, I do this in private. Most of the time, anyway.I've done this countless times throughout my life. So many times, in fact, that it has somewhat become an involuntary reaction. I notice that I especially feel the itch whenever I'm wearing a pair of headphones. One thing that never fails to surprise me, however, is that whenever I start plunging my appendages (not those appendages, you perv) into my ear, I end up with bits of cerumen at the tip of the fingers. It's usually a dab when my nails are short, but when the nails are long, some of the ear wax is scooped up by the extra cuticles. Yes, I know this is normal. And yes, I expect this to happen all the time. What I…

Splinter of the Mind's Eye

When my grandmother was born, at least according to her, she could hear the bells ringing over at the local church.The exact moment she passed away was at around six in the morning, wherein the local bells were also ringing, waking the people up for the early morning Angelus. It's six in the morning as I type this entry. Whenever I'm fully functional and awake at this time of the day, I can't help but remember my grandmother, and the dreams I had of her months, then weeks before, and the days after she died. I miss her candidness sometimes, her laid-back attitude and ready, winsome smile that everybody loved. But most of all, what I do miss is her piano playing - not that I'd want to hear her playing now, because that'd be freaky as hell, but she once told me that it used to be part of her morning exercise, to stretch out on the piano and noodle a bit with the keys. She was inseparable from the piano. It was her opinion that she didn't need a house; all she nee…

Shalimar The Clown

Salman Rushdie's probably in his declining years, as evidenced by his performance with one of his newest books entitled "Shalimar The Clown." Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Rusdhie's work - although I've never read "Midnight's Children," his ouvre, due to the sheer length of the book, I've read and enjoyed most of his other works, most notable of which would be his short story collection "East, West" and one of the newer novels, "Fury."

Happily Ordinary

STARE INTO THE MIND of a genius, and you will end up extremely bored. Okay, some folks might crook their eyes at this, and bring up examples like Einstein or Mozart. Well let me tell you, those guys weren't just geniuses, they were enlightened souls. When I talk of genius, I mean people who just happen to be smarter than your average above average person (smarter than me, say).I mean, I realize that there's a wealth of knowledge that's ripe for the picking for everybody, and I also know of the orgasmic feel that comes with learning something knew or ground-breaking, so I'm not putting these intelligent folks down, because they're important too. What I'm saying is that sometimes, you just can't help but think that mebbe these folks focus too much on knowledge. What brought this about?I was reading the blog of a friend I recently met, and I realized that all of her entries were strikingly long, and strikingly honest - and abominously boring. Don't get me …

Enter Post Title Here (This is Not a Typo)

I LOVE WALKING. When you've got a lot of weighty things that require some thinking, a good, long walk's probably the perfect thing to clear away the cobwebs in your head. Matter of fact, I love walking so much that I've taken to walking the twenty minutes from my house to the stop where I take the bus that shuttles me to work every morning. Conversely, when I take the bus (or the occasional jeep) back home, I walk the twenty minutes from the bus stop to my house. This way, I make sure to take the requisite 4000 steps / day cardiovascular requirement of the average human body (not that my body's average in any way). I also get enough alone time to think.This evening, I got to thinking about titles. Back in Journ 101, Ian Esguerra helped us establish that the lead paragraph of a news article was what drew your readers, so an effective lead was your bait, so to speak. When it comes to fiction (or, according to one of my dearest friends, blog posts) titles hardly seem to m…

So Radioactive Sago is No More

YEAH, THEY OFFICIALLY BROKE UP TONIGHT, during their tenth anniversary celebration over at Saguijo in Makati. I was at Green Papaya in Quezon City when I found out, and while it was kinda surprising, I didn't really make much of it.That was probably because I just came from (or was leaving) a very heavy discussion of Joel Toledo's take on poetry and poetics, which, while interesting, was getting a tad too hum-drum for my layman's ears. Here I was, surrounded by a bunch of award-winning writers and people who actually had an idea of what artistic writing was, and all I could think of the entire time was which mattered more to Joel; the enjoyment gleaned from a piece, or what the reader understood. Which was, in every aspect, a very utilitarian view. But hey, I like to live a very cosmopolitan lifestyle, so I guess that was where that came from.Back to Sago. While I don't personally know the folks from Sago, I do know the band's frontman somewhat. Lourd de Veyra was …

Da Fey

Read this story. Read it. Savor it. Enjoy as every moment throughout the tale unfolds, smacking your lips with every delectable sentence, letting the rough R's roll off your tongue as the Spaniards would since this story borrows heavily from the Iberians. Roger Zelazny might have become famous for his Amber saga, but the truth is, you see the full extent of a writer's skill in his shorts because he doesn't have enough room to create as full-bodied a story as he would in a novel (which leads to the rise of short short fiction but that's another topic altogether), but Zelazny is a genius and Auto-da-Fe is one of my favorite stories by this author who was well-received during his time but doesn't get half the public exposure it deserves in this day and age.

For you non-believers let me tell you this: J.K. Rowling can bite Zelazny in the behind, since none of the Harry Potter novels even comes close to the magic that this story generates. The first few paragraphs plunge…

Fantasy Storytelling and the Books that Make the Tale

I love hunting for really old bargain books whenever I can. In the country where I live in, there's this chain of bookstores that specializes in the acquisition and distribution of really really old books at bargained prices, and sometimes I would just lounge around in one of the said bookstores, running my hands through the volumes and hunting for the occasional book that might catch my eye.

While these bookstores carry mostly unsold books from publishers and other such surplus volumes, one can usually find the rare treasures from within the mess; classic literature books, for example, can be unearthed if you dig through the piles long enough (I have experienced this countless times; sometimes it's fruitful, other times, you end up frustrating yourself). Slice-of-life and adventure books literally litter (pardon the alliteration) the shelves of the more popular / consumer-friendly books, which are usually thronged either by romance novels or textbooks. In the popular fict…

An Ode

It's very rare that you encounter something that can be both poetic and powerful at the same time these days. Sometimes, you think all the miracles had been exhausted during the earlier centuries of history, and that we were stuck here, left to fend for ourselves. Sometimes, you end up thinking that maybe there really isn't anybody up there watching over us, or if there were, the dude was doing more watching than caring. Sad as it may seem, the outlook of majority of today's people goes a little something like this: we're alone in the world, so we have to look out for our own. I'm hardly at my quarter life, and I tend to see things in this light (which is, admittedly, kinda sad). It's like a defense mechanism generated by people living in a world that's become run by fast-paced businesses that require sufficient sacrifice of the self in order to survive.

The other day, though, something happened that helpd bolster my belief that somewhere out there, a holis…